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Al and Sandra’s Personal Goals

Our personal Goal is working to free individuals and couples from that which holds them back.  We hope to encourage the rights of individuals to continue on their personal journeys toward health, happiness and contribution to the community as a whole. But most important, we want to help people open up to become better partners, parents, grandparents so that we, as a community, can raise more healthy and happy children.

We retired in the fall of 2012 and moved to Mount Vernon, Washington in April of 2013.

Sandra’s History

Sandra comes from a small logging town in Washington. She has three grown children and worked in various businesses for 25 years.  She received her graduate degree from the University of Idaho in Counseling and Human Development.

She is affiliated with the American and Idaho Counseling Associations.  Her activities included the Idaho Mental Health Counselors Association, North Idaho AIDS Coalition, and the Kootenai County Domestic Violence Task Force.  Her personal interests are her relationship with Al, her grandchildren, and her animals.

And she is retired.

Al’s History

Al was born in Boston in a doctor’s family.  He followed New England traditions, even as far as spending a year at Yale, before “breaking loose,” as he puts it.  He then moved West, spent a few years in California (Bay Area) and a hitch in the Navy on a Destroyer sent to Vietnam.  He married and moved with his three children to Bozeman, Montana. During 8 wonderful years there, he developed his interest in psychology and took a Masters Degree in Counseling in 1972.  Al’s personal interests are his partner, Sandra, his animals, and being out in nature – at home and on vacations.

In 1992 he and Sandra started a private counseling practice in Coeur d’Alene. Al has been active with the Men’s Movement and makes presentations “on getting along together peacefully” in the community.

“My personal passion is ‘opening doors for people.’  You could call me a doorman.  Whenever I sense a person is stuck, I want to help to open that door.  But the primary door I like to open is that one that is the way to being friends, peacefully.

“Many therapists work in an analytical mode, where they gather information from you, analyze it, and then make recommendations.  They unconsciously take the position that they know what is good for you.  I don’t believe that possible.”

“I work for you.  You know what is best for you. I believe you probably know what you should do next, but have forgotten what. My knowledge and experience, especially that gained from making mistakes and surviving, is available to you. You are almost surely doing the best you know how to do right now.  With better information and better ways of seeing, you’ll surely do much better.  I like to be there to help and see you move through that next doorway.”

Al has been writing and posting 100s of articles about Relationships since 2006.  He has worked with over 3000 couples since about 1992.  He is on Facebook,, though mostly uses it for personal connections.  And he is retired.

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About Us — 2 Comments

  1. Pingback:Which Essays are Popular? (Updated April 1, 2019) – Al Turtle's Relationship Wisdom

  2. Great material however, I have a dilemma.
    I messed up my partner's birthday and made a commitment to make it up to her on the 16th of each month.
    She has asked me to leave, (I cling) and not discuss the relationship until the 30th when I meet our therapist.
    Yesterday I visited with friends and saw that the wife had bought for herself a bathtub caddy – holds a book wine glass and candles. Perfect for my partner.
    I want to get that for her partly because one of her complaints is that I do not keep commitments and do not make peace offerings.
    I also see that it would be pushing…
    Is my best course of action to get it with a note indicating that there is no obligation?
    Or do I wait until "things are better" and simply recognize my commitment on the date?
    Thank you so much.